Year-End Digest 2015

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On a dark December day, the delights of fresh summer fruit may feel like a distant memory. Nonetheless, as the end of year approaches, we wanted to take advantage of this time of reflection and transition to share some highlights of this past season with you, our valued community members.

First off, we would like to offer our sincerest thanks for your various forms of involvement and support this year. 2015 marked the 16th season of Fruit Tree Project operations, a year filled with growth and bounty. Despite the drought, we completed 51 picks this season and harvested 4175 pounds of backyard fruits to share with community members. These food waste recovery and community-building efforts were made possible because of the generosity and dedication of our pick leaders, volunteers, tree owners and community partners across Vancouver.
An Overview of 2015, By the Numbers:

  • 51 picks
  • 4715 lbs of fruit harvested
  • 4175 lbs of fruit donated; over 88% shared with community partners
  • 10 types of fruit: cherries, plums, pears, figs, Saskatoon berries, blackberries, blueberries, apples, grapes & quince
  • 12 active pick leaders; 6 newly trained in 2015
  • Over 1650 lbs picked by one pick leader
  • 137 casual volunteer opportunities created through picks
  • 75 distinct volunteers engaged
  • 180 tree owners in database
  • 3 canning workshops
  • 7 outreach events
  • 2 community events: ‘Just Eat It’ Film Screening and Dining from the Dumpster
  • 1 “Community Chest” partnership with Whole Foods
  • 18 prunes completed through the Pruning Social Enterprise

As in years past, our community partners shared our harvests with residents across Vancouver. Some of the organizations that most benefited from this partnership included Kits House, the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, Westside Family Place and Mt Pleasant Neighbourhood House. Partners used this fruit in meal programs, such as at the DTES Women’s Centre or Renfrew Collingwood Neighbourhood House, shared it fresh with families, as did Britannia Community Centre or Westside Family Place, or used it in some exciting capacity-building workshops, such as the “newcomers canning program” at South Van Neighbourhood House.

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Fruit Tree Project supporters dive into a delicious meal crafted entirely from recovered food, as part of our “Dining from the Dumpster” season wrap-up event

As these numbers also show, this past season we welcomed dozens of new tree owners, volunteers and pick leaders, as well as continued to advocate for and promote food recovery efforts across the city. We are always looking to grow our network of tree owners and pick leaders, so please continue sharing the Fruit Tree Project story, even in the off-season! Our tree pruning social enterprise also blossomed this year, and is still available for dormant pruning jobs. You, our supporters, underpinned all of these achievements. If this is work you would like to see grow in your neighbourhood, please consider making a donation to support our ongoing efforts.

Last but not least, we are currently recruiting for new board members, to begin in April 2016. You can find the posting here. We are looking to welcome a variety of expertise and experience to the board, so please give the posting a look!

So thank you once again for your involvement this season, and we hope this holiday season is a restful and rejuvenating one, filled with nourishing food and community. We are immensely grape-ful for all of your support and look forward to more fruitful collaboration in 2016, as we continue building a more abundant and equitable local food system together!

With many warm regards,
Rosalind and the Vancouver Fruit Tree Project Board

Help Grow the VFTP: Join our Board!

1250The Vancouver Fruit Tree Project Society is seeking board members for our 2016/2017 season, the 17th year of the project. We are looking for individuals passionate about urban agriculture, food security and/or community building to sit on our Board.

At our next AGM, in April, we will be holding elections for four new directors, the position is for a two year term of office. The VFTP holds general monthly meetings, and director attendance is expected. There are no formal requirements for being a director, but we are looking for individuals with an interest and/or experience in areas such as:

  • Communications (including social media and web content)
  • Public Relations
  • Fundraising
  • Operations
  • Volunteer Management
  • Social Enterprise
  • Bookkeeping

Check out our posting on GoodWork or contact Clint at: [email protected] for more information about the project and opportunities with the VFTP. We look forward to hearing from you and to another season of sharing the harvest with the Vancouver community!

Freshly Picked: Media Spotlight on the VFTP

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We’re always excited when the VFTP is profiled in local media, as we were in the Vancouver Sun back in July, when Randy Shore investigated “What to Do With Your Excess Garden Bounty”. For those of you who speak French, you can also listen to Rosalind share the Fruit Tree Project story on Radio-Canada. And for those of you interested in learning about other food recovery initiatives around the world, be sure to check out this article in The Guardian!

Summer 2015 Newsletter

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Curious to learn about what the VFTP has been up to this season? Craving all the news from the grapevine? Whether it was harvesting almost 250 lbs of grapes from one household (pictured above) or gleaning hundreds of pounds of apples from public trees, welcoming dozens of new volunteers or crafting fruit jellies with our community partners, it has certainly been a bountiful season! Be sure to check out the Summer 2015 newsletter here.

VFTP Presents: Just Eat It – A Food Waste Story

The Vancouver Fruit Tree Project presents a documentary screening of:

Just Eat It Poster

Click on poster to view an enlarged version

Just Eat It – A Food Waste Story
Date: Friday June 5, 2015
Time: 7:30pm
Location: 1655 William Street – Grandview Woodland Community Place
Donation @ Door: Suggested $5-15 Per Person
Also: Food, Drinks, Prizes, Community Partners
For more information or To RSVP

Synopsis: Just Eat It is a 74-minute documentary film about food waste and food rescue by Peg Leg Films, in partnership with British Columbia’s Knowledge Network. We all love food. As a society, we devour countless cooking shows, culinary magazines and foodie blogs. So how could we possibly be throwing nearly 50% of it in the trash? And what are the environmental and societal impacts!

Film Awards Include:
– VIFF Impact Award – Vancouver International Film Festival
– Emerging Canadian Filmmaker & Top 20 Audience Choice – Hot Docs
– Best Canadian Documentary – Edmonton International Film Festival
– Best Canadian Feature – Planet in Focus
– Best Environmental Film – Sedona International Film Festival